Guyana signs loan agreements with China to upgrade Broadband, build Public Service College

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Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge with Foreign Affairs Minister from the Republic of China, Wang Yi at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre during the agreements signing

Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge this morning (Saturday) meet with his counterpart from the Republic of China, Wang Yi at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre where both parties entered into agreements on behalf of their respective Governments.

Prior to the signing, it was outlined that a “Framework Agreement Provision of a Concessional Loan between the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Government of the People’s Republic of China” and “The Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Government of the People’s Republic of China” would be signed.

Expanding more on the agreements at hand, Minister Greenidge posited that they signed a framework agreement to implement the Guyana National Broadband Project.  “This project will see the upgrading of the network to enable an equitable delivery of service in the education, health, security, business and other sectors” he noted.

Moreover, he noted that an agreement on economic and technical cooperation was also signed to fund the several projects, including a Public Service College.

“You also witnessed this morning the official handing over of China’s contribution towards our hosting of the Seventeenth Session of the Committee for the Review and Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in January of 2019.  I believe that it is the first occasion on which the Government of China has contributed cash to this very important undertaking” Greendige posited.

He outlined that Guyana and China have enjoyed decades of longstanding friendship and partnership, while outlining that Minister Wang’s visit “will no doubt contribute to the strengthening and advancement of our relationship I am confident that, through our combined efforts, it will continue grow from strength to strength, on the basis of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.”

Two months ago Guyana and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

During the meeting today, Greenidge said that “we discussed how the two countries will move forward with the cooperation areas identified under the MOU, in order to extract practical benefits for our countries and peoples.”

While the MOU outlines broad areas of collaboration, such as policy coordination, enhancing connectivity, promoting trade and increased people-to-people exchanges among others, the two countries must now identify specific proposals and develop a mechanism by which projects and programmes in these areas, may be proposed and evaluated at the technical level.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commenced discussions with other agencies in order to secure their inputs to assess their needs and to identify priority areas.

“These agencies are represented here today and we are committed to utilizing this new framework of the Belt and Road Initiative , as well as existing bilateral mechanisms, to channel support to critical sectors, namely infrastructure, agriculture, renewable energy, health and ICT, inter alia, in order to bring direct benefits to our citizens” Greenidge posited.

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